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    Season’s Greetings from the NAA!

    Some festive cheer as we near the end of 2022: Ford is to increase investment at Halewood to scale up its electric vehicle portfolio, by investing a further £150 million, raising the total to £380 million. This latest announcement brings the total investment in our region in the transition to vehicle electrification to over £3 billion in the last three years.

    Welcome to this month’s newsletter and I hope that you are all keeping well.

    I would like to start this month’s newsletter with some great news regarding investment in our sector in this region. Ford is to increase investment at its Halewood Transmissions facility to scale up its electric vehicle portfolio, by investing a further £150 million, raising the total to £380 million. You can read the full article here. This latest announcement brings the total investment in our region in the transition to vehicle electrification to over £3 billion in the last three years.

    Further investment support is also available through the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s (APC) Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP), for which Wave 7 has just been launched and is now open for Expressions of Interest (EOI) – offering up to £170,000 of grant support to ambitious micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Full details can be found later in the e-news.

    Further signs of optimism have also come from SMMT’s latest research, which reveals that the industry’s expected return to growth next year could be worth an additional £14 billion to the UK economy in 2023 alone, with the new car and van market set to rise 15%, along with recovering production.

    Member News

    Automotive video specialists Bigtank Productions has once again been working with Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK, this time highlighting the features and benefits of the diesel-engined Actros L and the all new eActros electric truck, filmed in and around the Mercedes-Benz Truck Experience Centre at Wentworth Park – read more on this later in the e-news.

    Elsewhere in this month’s newsletter, you can read about some of the latest developments from a selection of our other members, including Helical Technology, IoT Horizon, NanoSun, Preston Technical and Team Eco.

    NAA Events/Webinars

    Earlier this month saw the latest in our programme of webinars, “Building and Sustaining Supply Chain Resilience”, delivered by Mike Farnworth of NAA member company Xemptor Consulting. The event focused on key strategies and tools to tackle risk, reduce cost and boost value, with areas covered including:

    • Advanced sourcing techniques

    • Supplier relationships

    • Price and cost evolution

    • Portfolio analysis

    If you were unable to make this event, the recording is available on request from Zoe.

    Our 2023 events calendar is filling up so please make room in your diary…

    We will be holding our next face-to-face networking event at NAA Member Company, DHL Supply Chain on 18 January.

    On 26 January, we will be hosting a webinar in conjunction with Grant Thornton, who will be sharing insights into their global automotive sector expertise. 

    The next NAA Members’ Virtual Roundtable will take place on Thursday, 2 February / 11:00-12:00 – the Roundtable offers a great opportunity to network with fellow members from the convenience of your own desk.

    On 16 February, The Institute of Export & International Trade will host a webinar offering practical support to companies already or planning to be involved with export and international trade.  

    To register for any of the above events and webinars, please contact Zoe

    Additionally, The China-Britain Business Council will hold its first Automotive Roundtable of 2023, which will be held on 10 January, hosted on the University of Birmingham’s campus – full details can be found here

    Other News

    The latest Make UK Manufacturing Salary Guide survey is now open for responses – when published, the Make UK Manufacturing Salary Guide 2023 will be a valuable source of pay and benefit information, helping your business with both employee recruitment and retention. By completing the survey, you will ensure that Make UK has the information needed to provide you with a robust pay benchmark for the roles within your business.

    The survey will close on the 16 December 2022. 

    Companies that complete the survey will be able to access the Manufacturing Salary Guide free-of-charge.

    You can complete the survey here

    Core Tools / Internal Auditor – Dates for 2023 TBC (Virtual)

    Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA – 1 Day) 

    Production Part Approval Process (PPAP – 1 Day)

    Statistical Process Control (SPC – 1 Day) 

    Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP – 1 Day) 

    Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA – 1 Day) 

    IATF16949:2016 – Internal Auditor (2 Days) 

    To register your interest in the above courses, contact Zoe

    If you would like to submit content to feature in an upcoming e-news please contact Zoe.

    Finally, I would like to wish you and your families a peaceful, safe and relaxing Christmas and a prosperous new year.

    Paul Jones


    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham